NI Archive | Home 22 March 2019
The Craig family donates the Sam Henry Collection to Coleraine Museum

Gordon Craig, grandson of Sam Henry, with Mayor of Coleraine, Alderman Maurice Bradley,

and members of Causeway Museum Service

On Thursday 25th August 2011, Gordon Craig, presented the Mayor, Alderman Maurice Bradley
with his grandfather’s Collection. This prestigious and substantial collection of over 7000 items belonged to the highly regarded Coleraine man, Sam Henry.


Included in this rare archive of material are unique photographs from across the north, taken by Sam

as he made an extraordinary record of local people and local places along with their associated songs and correspondence.


The Mayor, Alderman Maurice Bradley, on behalf of Coleraine Borough Council, thanked Gordon Craig

and his family for their generous donation. He commented that “Sam was a gifted and committed man; his collection not only captures his own life in Coleraine but also the lives of others in the Borough and

beyond. His photographs, research, diaries and other material included in the collection provide an

invaluable resource for the museum service, researchers and local historians as well as geneaologists.”


Sam Henry(1878 – 1952) is widely recognized through his work as editor of the weekly series, ‘Songs

of the People’ between 1923 and 1939 which ran in the Northern Constitution. ‘Songs of the People’

published songs known, played and sung by people in Northern Ireland. Sam was not only instigator of the series but the collector of a vast majority of the songs.

Part of Sam’s photographic collection was on display in Coleraine Town Hall and in the Roe Valley Arts

and Cultural Centre earlier this year. Sarah Carson, Collections Access Officer of Coleraine Museum, said “the exhibition sparked a great deal of interest in Sam and his collection. His research, correspondence, publications and articles are not only enlightening but entertaining and will be invaluable to many. He was truly inspirational and we are privileged to hold such a collection. I would like to extend my thanks to Gordon and his family for donating the collection to the Museum.”


Coleraine Museum would like to get in touch with anyone who remembers Sam Henry.

Please contact Sarah Carson on 02870347213

Please click here to go to the Sam Henry Minisite
Please click here to view photographic collection


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